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GrainCo Ltd expands with acquisition of County Durham grain storage and seed processing facility


Oct 9, 2016

GrainCo Ltd, the South Shields-based agricultural marketing, trading and processing business, has expanded its operations with the acquisition of new facilities in County Durham with the support of Square One Law.

The company, which delivers grain marketing and trading services along with operating grain drying, storage and export facilities, has purchased business assets, premises and equipment on the 15-acre site in Piercebridge near Darlington. The acquisition expands its capabilities into the processing of cereal seed.

Featuring storage for 40,000 tonnes of grain, the Piercebridge facilities, which have been acquired from Mole Valley Farmers and also contains a Seed Plant that can process and treat in excess of 4,000 tonnes of seed which is sold to farmers.

This new operation expands GrainCo’s presence in the seed market, where it already markets product as an agent, or directly for other seed houses.

Doug Gray, Business Development Director, from GrainCo Ltd, said: “Given GrainCo’s history with the Piercebridge site we are delighted to bring it in to our estate. The acquisition is an important part of the continued strategic development of the business.

“Given our existing expertise in grain storage, marketing and seed supply the purchase of the site provides clear synergies. The seed plant enables GrainCo to improve its service in this part of the sector and we are very grateful for the continued support given by our farmer customers over the autumn campaign.

“It was imperative to complete the transaction to a strict timetable to ensure we could utilise the resources the site offers before the current harvest. The diligence and tenacity shown by our advisers at Square One Law was second to none and ensured we could get this deal across the line in time for the harvest.”

Square One Law’s Head of Corporate and Commercial, James Bryce, negotiated the sale, with support given from its property team to undertake full due diligence on the site’s property assets.

James Bryce said: “This acquisition is a very good fit with GrainCo’s existing operations, enabling it to increase its capabilities and presence in the market.  The success of GrainCo’s business model further emphasises the strength of the North East agricultural sector and its importance to the region’s economy.”

With six facilities across the North East and Scotland including dockside operations in Blyth and Teesside, GrainCo has the capability to store more than 200,000 tonnes of grain.

Each year it trades in excess of one million tonnes of grain including wheat, feed barley, malting barley, oats and oil seed rape.  GrainCo was formed in 1996 and is a subsidiary of the TyneGrain Ltd group of companies. It employs around 50 people and has a turnover of in excess of £170m.

By Emily